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Bang on a Can’s ROAD TRIP

To celebrate 30 yrs of visionary programming, Bang's founders Gordon, Lang & Wolfe will create a massive new work to premiere late 2017.

The Latest Update

Road Trip at BAM – Performance Video

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Bang on a Can

We’d like to share a video of the BAM performance! We’re the first to admit it ain’t the same as being there, but it’s a fun ride. Enjoy!

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Road Trip

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Bang on a Can

The two performances last Fall were smash successes – first at the Ford Theatre in Los Angeles on October 14, 2017 and then at BAM for a weekend run at the Opera House in Brooklyn.

A review of the world premiere came via Mark Swed of the L.A. Times.  One of the most gratifying quotes was this: “The main thing that’s changed over 30 years is the ever-improving quality of the ingredients.” We may be old, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost any of the urgency or inspiration, and it’s terrific to be acknowledged for one’s own relevance amid the ever-shifting and expanding new music universe.

The BAM show allowed us to the full extent of collaborative equipment and creative energy of collaborators CandyStations, Ben Stanton and Michael Counts.

Please check the video below, that BAM created to promote the show for its Next Wave festival.






To celebrate 30 years of Bang on a Can, and one of the most unique, influential, and still-current artistic collaborations today, co-artistic directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe will compose ROAD TRIP – an evening-length ‘concert spectacular’ for the electric Bang on a Can All-Stars featuring visually stunning stage and lighting design by CandyStations and director Michael Counts. The piece will be premiered at BAM’s Next Wave festival October 26-29, 2017.

To have New Music USA’s participation would be truly apropos, given our long history with its forebearers Meet the Composer and American Music Center. Both organizations were instrumental in Bang on a Can’s early years, often providing the largest gifts to our Marathon concerts in the late ’80s and through the ’90s, as well as individual commission projects through the years. This is a large project with many moving pieces, but we remain well into the red in our budget projections. New Music USA would be credited as a Lead Commissioner.

The piece is about journeys and people who make them. Physical journeys, geographical journeys, emotional journeys, spiritual journeys.  Road Trip imagines an almost mythological journey across the United States, driving leisurely from place to place – the radio on, in a convertible with the top down, on the most beautiful day of the year. The upbeat celebratory music is through-composed from start to finish. Radio signals fade in and out, would-be pop ballads and surf instrumentals blend into and out of mariachi music and country and talk radio.  There will be songs. The members of the ensemble will play and sing. The journey is narrated by the voice on our GPS, ever recalculating. There is a road, but it is no simple highway.

Co-composer David Lang had this to say:

“One of the amazing things about Bang on a Can is that we have been traveling together, for years, all around the world. When I think of the All-Stars I think, of course, of the great musicians and the great music, but I also have vivid memories of trying to eat late at night in Fayetteville, Arkansas, trying to be a vegetarian in Hong Kong, trying to get an espresso in Bratislava, in the mid 1990’s!  To be honest, I can’t remember all the incredible the concerts but I remember every hotel that had a cool bar, every used book store and every art museum in every city we ever visited. When I think of going on the road with the band I think of the excitement, the spirit of adventure. I think of the great audiences. Most of all I think of the camaraderie among us, how happy we have been to take the show on the road. For me that is what our piece ‘Road Trip’ is all about.” 

For us, this is a deeply meaningful project at a crucial time in the life of Bang. This is the way we see combining a celebration with a monumental work that can move us forward, artistically and financially.

Project Media

Road Trip – Informational Video
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In order to find donors and partners for Road Trip we created this informational video that includes a more in-depth description of the proposed piece and why we’re doing it now.

The music in the background is by Julia Wolfe, played by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, for our series of commissions called “Field Recordings.”

Bang on a Can All-Stars play Cheating, Lying, Stealing
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This piece, performed here by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, has become a much-requested classic of our 21st century repertoire. The band is: Ashley Bathgate, cell; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano: David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, guitars: Ken Thomson, clarinet. That lineup is the ensemble for this proposal to NMUSA.

Composer David Lang wrote this piece specifically for the group.

Lost Objects – A Collaboration of Gordon/Lang/Wolfe and Bang on a Can
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This work sample of “Lost Objects” is the closest in scale and personnel as we could find to the proposed Road Trip. The visual and theatrical collaborators are different, and Road Trip will have vocals but only coming from the ensemble (who are all excellent singers as well as players).

The show in this video was part of BAM’s 2005 NextWave Festival, and the theatrical staging was by Francois Girard.

Start and End Dates



Brooklyn, New York

2 updates
Last update on March 6, 2018

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new.  Since its first Marathon concert in 1987, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found.  With adventurous programs, it commissions, performs, presents, and records new works, develops new audiences, and educates the musicians of the…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York
New York, New York


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